Nuclear Power in Argentina
Electricity consumption in Argentina has grown strongly since 1990. Per capita consumption was just over 2,000 kWh / year in 2002 and increased to over 2,600 kWh / year in 2007. Gross production of electricity in 2007 was 115 million kWh, 54% from gas, 27% hydro, 9.4% oil, a 2.2% from coal, and 6.3% (7.2 million kWh) of nuclear origin. In 2008, nuclear energy provides more than 6.8 million kWh of electricity - about 6.2% of total electricity generation.
In Argentina, the electricity production is largely privatized, and is regulated by the ENRE (National Regulatory Authority for Electricity). The installed capacity is about 35 GW, about 11% of which is self-producers and private generators.
nuclear industry development Argentina
The Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (National Atomic Energy Commission, CNEA) was established in 1950 and resulted in a series of activities focused on Research and development in nuclear energy, including the construction of several nuclear research reactors. They are currently operating five research reactors with plans to build a sixth reactor.
In 1964 Argentina became interested in nuclear energy fully and conducted a feasibility study to build a plant in the region of Buenos Aires from 300 to 500 MW. The policy of the country was firmly based on the use of heavy water reactors using natural uranium as fuel. The most attractive offerings that were finally accepted in Canada and Germany. As a result they built nuclear plant Atucha in Lima, 115 km northwest of Buenos Aires.
The nuclear cental Atucha 1 became operational in 1974 becoming the first nuclear power plant in Argentina.
In 1967, we conducted a second feasibility study of a larger plant in the reservoir region of Córdoba, 500 km inland. In this case, we selected a CANDU-6 reactor of the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), partly because of the technology transfer agreement which accompanied, and was built with the Italian company Italimpianti. Embalse nuclear plant became operational in 1984. In 2010, an agreement was signed for the renovation of the plant and extend its life by 25 years. Was used to increase power by about 7% with an investment of $ 240 million. Currently running around 80% of its capacity to limit damage neutron pressure tubes.
In 1979 was projected third nuclear power plant in Argentina - Atucha 2 - following a decision by the Argentine government to have four more units coming online between 1987 and 1997. Siemens was a design. Construction began in 1981. However, the work progressed slowly due to lack of funds and suspended in 1994 with 81% of the plant built.
In 1994, he created Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA) to take charge of the nuclear power plants of CNEA and supervise the construction of Atucha 2.
The design of the PHWR units Atucha Siemens Argentina was unique, and NASA sought the experience of Germany, Brazil Españay to complete the unit. In 2003, there were plans to complete the 692 MW of Atucha 2. In August 2006, the government announced a U.S. plan of 3.5 billion dollars to develop nuclear power in Argentina. It was complete Atucha 2 and extend operating life and reservoir Atucha 1.
The goal was that nuclear power be part of an expansion of generation capacity to meet growing demand. Meanwhile, conducted a feasibility study on a fourth generation reactor construccióna to start from 2010.
Another aspect of the 2006 plan was a step towards the construction of a 27 MW prototype reactor CAREM. He is currently in pre-construction stage in the northwestern province of Formosa.
Powered by CNEA and INVAP (Applied Research) CAREM nuclear reactor is a modular 100 MWt reactor with a pressurized water nuclear simplified with integral steam generators designed to be used for the generation electricity (27 MWe net) or investigacióno reactor for water desalination. Recent studies have evaluated the possibility of increasing the scale of 100 to 300 MWe. It is a mature design that could be deployed within a decade.
uranium resources in Argentina
Uranium resources of Argentina, are only 15,000 tU, although CNEA estimated that some 55,000 tU as "exploration targets". From mid-1950, conducted a uranium exploration and some mining, but the last mine closed in 1997 for economic reasons.
However, there are plans to reopen the mine in Sierra Pintada CNEA Mendoza, in the Midwest, closed since 1997.También is known as San Rafael mine and mill. The resumption of uranium mining is part of the 2006 plan.
In 2007, the CNEA reached an agreement with the provincial government of Salta, in the north of the country to reopen the Don Otto uranium mine, which operated intermittently from 1963 to 1981.
Radioactive waste management in Argentina
Since April 1997, the National Law of Nuclear Activity assigns responsibility for the CNEA for the management of radioactive waste, which creates a special fund for this purpose.
The low-level waste and intermediate level, including spent fuel from research reactors are handled in facilities CNEA Ezeiza. The spent fuel is stored at each plant.
The CNEA is also responsible for removing the equipment, which must be financed progressively by each operation of the plant.
and safety regulation
In 1994, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (Nuclear Regulatory Authority, RNA) was formed and took over all the functions of regulating the National Nuclear Regulatory Board (Nuclear Regulatory Agency, ENREN) and CNEA. As the radiation protection, it is also responsible for security, licenses and security. Reports directly to the President.
Argentina is party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1995 as a non- nuclear weapons state, and has been party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1994. However, safeguards have been operating since 1991 in collaboration with the Brazilian-Argentina for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . Argentina has not signed the Additional Protocol in relation to its safeguards agreements with the IAEA. The country is a member of the NSG.